12 Amazing Facts About Elon Musk's SpaceX The aerospace company is known for being at the forefront of innovation.

By Nina Zipkin


Since SpaceX launched (yes, pun intended, we're not sorry) 15 years ago, Elon Musk's ambitious brainchild has grown into the most recognizable name in the aerospace industry.

Related: 20 Weird Things We've Learned About Elon Musk

Musk's goal is to use his company's innovative reusable rocket technology to not only ferry tourists into orbit, but create a sustainable colony on Mars -- and soon. He has said that his aim is to begin sending manned missions to the Red Planet by 2022. We'll be watching.

Read on for 12 fun facts we have learned about the company.


All about that corporate synergy.

As the company gets closer to making a trip to Mars a reality, it is testing more and more complex spacecraft such as the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is on track to launch in January of 2018. The first payload is going to have some overlap with CEO Elon Musk's other big name venture, Tesla. Musk plans to send up a red Tesla roadster on that first launch, because why not? If all goes according to plan, the "red car for a red planet," will be "in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent," Musk said on Twitter.

Related: Elon Musk May Be Sending a Tesla Roadster to Space on a SpaceX Rocket


Short and sweet

SpaceX isn't actually the company's real name. The company's full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.

Your neighbor’s Christmas lights have nothing on SpaceX.

On Dec. 22, 2017, SpaceX launched its 18th and final mission of 2017, a satellite launch with a Falcon 9 rocket for satellite communications firm Iridium. The rocket took off from Vandenberg air force base in Southern California, and as it streaked across the night sky, it gave off a bright light show that had people stopping in their tracks and documenting the weird cloud-like effect on social media. It was not a pre-Christmas visit from some extraterrestrial friends, but it certainly had a Close Encounters of the Third Kind kind of vibe.


New partnerships

In 2012, SpaceX became the first private space company to dock with the International Space Station.


Looking to the future

With that first connection with the ISS, SpaceX also did something unique -- the science experiments that it carried as cargo were developed by 15 students.


Sense of history

In 2017, SpaceX became a part of a long tradition when its Falcon 9 rocket took off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, where the Apollo 11 moon mission began. It was also the first entity to use it since the complex was retired in 2011.

Breaking down barriers

On March 30, 2017, SpaceX became the first entity to successfully launch and fly a reusable orbital class rocket.

Not just about rockets

SpaceX isn't only making big spacecrafts in its pursuit of creating a community on Mars. The company is also partnering with NASA to make specialized spacesuits.

A heavy weight

The Dragon capsule can carry up to 13,228 pounds into space. The Falcon Heavy rocket, designed to withstand travel to Mars, can carry 119,000 pounds, which the SpaceX site describes as "a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel."

A resume of firsts

The company has been the first to a lot of milestones, including the most important introductory stumbling block of being the first private company to successfully fund, build, launch, orbit a rocket and have that rocket safely land.

Musk’s sense of irreverence is on full display

The Dragon spacecraft is named after the song "Puff the Magic Dragon." The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets are named after, you guessed it, the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. If it's good enough for Han Solo…
Sony Pictures Entertainment

It’s an astronaut taxi

Starting in 2018, NASA astronauts will be taken into space by SpaceX rockets as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program in lieu of relying on transportation from international space agencies such as Russia's Roscosmos.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


Why Overcoming the Shadows of Your Past Will Lead to Your Brightest Future

How to face and overcome the voices holding you back to propel yourself forward

Business Process

Employees Check Their Emails 36 Times An Hour — Here Are 5 Proven Tips to Get That Time Back.

The idea of "inbox zero" is much more than a myth — it's doable.

Business News

Chick-fil-A Is Getting Into Content Creation, Hiring an 'Entertainment Producer'

The popular chicken chain is launching the "PLAY entertainment app" and creating original series, podcasts, animations, and more.

Starting a Business

New Research Reveals 4 Personality Traits That Most Wealthy Entrepreneurs Share

In the book "Rich Habits," author and CPA Tom Corley shares the daily success habits of his most successful clients.

Business Ideas

This Teacher Sells Digital Downloads for $10. Her Side Hustle Now Makes Six Figures a Month: 'It Seems Too Good to Be True, But It's Not.'

When one middle school teacher needed to make some extra income, she started a remote side hustle with no physical products and incredibly low overhead. Now she brings in six figures each month, and offers courses teaching others how to do the same.

Health & Wellness

Why the Holidays Are a Great Time to Start Your Healing Journey

These tips will help you get ahead so that once the holidays are over, you have already made a commitment to heal and can start diving into action to accomplish your goals